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Chase May 31 2004

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Route:Soest - Gorinchem - Den Dungen - Veghel - Helmond - Deurne - Venray - Broekhuizen - Venlo - Eindhoven - 's Hertogenbosch
Chasepartner(s):--


CHASE LOG:
After a long period without any significant convection in The Netherlands, there was chance of some thundery showers during the afternoon. This was the first day that I could test and use my new car window tripod.
Behind a lingering frontal system, airmass became slightly unstable over the southern half of Holland with MLCAPE values into a few hundreds and a light negative LI. Temperatures went up to near 20 degrees, which was enough to get convection started. Near 13 LT I left my home and drove south to an area where the first storms had formed. Near Gorinchem I found my first shower, but this was nothing special. It did show a low base, indicating moist air in the boundary layer. To the east a more ominous looking sky was present.
I phoned my nowcaster of this day, Ben Lankamp, and he told me where most of the lightning was occuring. Ben said I should drive southeast towards an area near the city of Eindhoven. So I drove off again. In the province of Noord-Brabant I closed in on the storm pretty soon, so I took an exit and searched for a better vantage point. I found one between Den Dungen and Veghel. There I was more or less surrounded by storms and often (up to 3 times a minute) thunder could be heard. The storm itself didn't look impressive at all.
So I called Ben again and he told me to proceed driving south, towards Helmond or Weert, as storms were moving towards the ESE. He also told me there was a report of 2 cm hail in Tilburg, not far from my location. So, as I had to do a corepunch, there was a chance I encountered medium sized hailstones. I left my spot and between Veghel and Helmond I got in the core. It was raining very intens and lightning could be seen and heard once in a while. Also the storm sometimes showed nice lowerings, but nothing really special. Near Helmond I observed some vague mammatus clouds, but I couldn't take decent pictures while driving.
Near Deurne I got out of the precipitation, but one CG struck very close, most likely at about 20m from my car. A jogger to my right almost got a heart attack when he heard the close strike. I went further east and east of Venray I could find a vantage point again. One of the storms showed a nice shelf cloud at that point.
I continued my journey southeast, but when I accidently drove into Germany, I found it time to turn around again. Radar on my cell phone showed the storms merging into a large rainy complex, so I probably wouldn't miss a lot when going home. But storms stayed around me all the way to 's Hertogenbosch, sometimes showing some sort of whale's mouth display.
Soon the sun started to break thru the clouds, resulting in some nice cloud rays. To the east the storms were slowly drifting away and dying. A pretty nice chase, although I haven't witnessed any severe weather. There was one spout report from Giethoorn though!


PICTURES:


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© 2004 Bernard Hulshof